The first Hope Harbor was started by Dr. Art Heinz, a pastor in Murray. His associate, Bill Barger, said that it had been their vision for more than three years to start new churches in nearby counties. The Trigg County church will be the first. Barger said several people in the county already come to the church in Murray to worship every week. The congregation consists of people from 30 different denominations, which Barger said he learned after people filled out visitor’s cards with background information.
Barger said that although there are many churches in Trigg County, he had wanted to start a new Hope Harbor to try to get people to come worship who don’t already attend church. He refers to himself as a “multi-site pastor” because he and the other members plan to start more churches in the future. He plans to be the pastor at each new church until the next one begins. Possible future locations include Graves and McCracken counties.
Barger said attendees are free to come as they are and that they shouldn’t feel an obligation wear a coat and tie. He said he hoped the laid-back approach would draw a large number of new worshipers.
“We’re making disciples out of people,” Barger said. “We’re multiplying not in the name of Hope Harbor, but in the name of God.”
The casual atmosphere extends to the music as well. Barger said they have a contemporary praise and worship band with drums, bass, guitar and backup singers. He said the new Hope Harbor doesn’t have keyboards yet, but that they will before long.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.